Smiling Through Trouble
Last updated: May 2023
"I love those who smile in trouble" it or something similar is attributed to DaVinci. It's the motto I've long held in regard to my migraines. I've had epidsodic migraines since I was a child as did my mother and aunt. I thought that's what headaches were like.
In my 20's, I learned from friends that, no, headaches did NOT make you throw up, lie in a dark room with a pillow on your head, with no sounds and pray nothing set off your nose. I mentioned it to my OB-GYN who gave me Maxalt and told me to watch for food triggers and hormones. I did fairly well until my 30s.
I had 3 sinus sugeries for polyps and lots of Vicodin. Arthitis in my feet from 15 years of dance lessons and lots of NSAIDS. Lots of Hormonal issues. And LOTS of migraines.
At 41, 6 weeks ago, after 2 weeks of intense head pain and a slew of new to me neurological symptoms (parathesia, tinnitus, vertigo, slurred speech, a ton of new visual auras, you name it, I had it) I was admitted to a local hospital for 8 days. I left at a pain level of a 2 on preventative meds, with no plan for the immediate future except to see a neuro again in a month.
Yeah. Not happening.
While playing the ER, local neruo waiting game, we researched headache specialists and came across the Cleveland Clinic. We had an appointment with a specialist there within a week and was diagnosed with chronic migraine and medical overuse headache. I start IMATCH in a few weeks. In the meatime, they and the local neuro are working together to get me through triptan rebound and the daily pain. I have begun to only treat moderate to severe pain and have found other means to distract myself for low level pain.
I go back to work in two days for the first time in several weeks. I'm scared. Can I do this? Can I fake it til I make it? What if I'm leveled while I'm there? What if I'm not? Deep breath. Smile. Maybe the trouble won't be that bad.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?